New York has come and gone. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to update this while I was away (as there wasn't really much of a wi-fi connection in the hotel). Here's a pretty good summary of what happened on the trip. We were gone from Sunday, February 27th until Saturday, March 5th. I'd like to write that New York is awesome. I had an amazing time and would love to visit it again (especially in the summer to see Central park with all of its leaves). The weather was wonderful and relatively warm and I really enjoyed the lack of snow. Canada did welcome me home with plenty of snow and freezing rain, wasn't that nice? I also took many pictures but not as many as I could have taken. I also didn't buy that many souvenirs. I suppose I'm coming to the point in my travel where I don't need to purchase souvenirs, the photos are enough. That or I'm sick of the extra weight they add to my pack. It's a little hard to tell...
I should also mention that we bought a City Pass to see some of the sights throughout NYC since it ended up being cheaper that way. The week has also sort of become a bit of the blur with the more I try to remember what happened when and in what order.
We left for Albany bright and early on the Sunday morning so we could arrive at a decent hour in Albany. We were positive it was easiest to enter the States from Ogdensburg so when our GPS kept telling us to go towards Montreal we turned it off and used the mini map that Michele had made. We arrived at around 5 in the afternoon which was much later than we previously thought. Our route took us through the back country roads and through plenty of tiny towns. It was gorgeous and worth it. We ended up pulling over somewhere to buy a map of New York state to help us get to Albany.
Our first night in Albany was fun. Michele's cousin, Katie, was nice enough to let us stay with her the night and she even made us a wonderful dinner. It was mouth watering good. She also has a very, very adorable dog named Kaiser. We polished off 2 bottles of wine with dinner and decided to go to bed relatively early.
We got up whenever we woke on Monday and ate before Katie drove us to the bus station. Unfortunately, it was freezing rain so the venture there was a little unfortunate. I fell down some stairs but I didn't feel it. I was walking down the stairs and looked down to see ice on the step. I remember thinking to myself "Shit, this'll hurt." and then just as suddenly I was soaked on the ground wondering what happened. I never felt a thing. I was standing one moment and the next I was on the ground. It was strange. The bus ride itself flew by even though I was a little hung over from the night before. I pretty much never drink wine so it's become an acquired taste it seems.
After we got settled into our hotel Michele and I decided to explore our surroundings. Our hotel is across the street from Madison Square Garden. It was hotel Pensylvannia. We quickly found our way to Time's Square and went in search of a broadway show that we could possibly see that night. We found cheap tickets for Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. Since we still had a few hours before the show we went out for dinner at an Irish pub and then went back to the hotel to change for the show. I'd seen a movie version of it a year earlier but the musical on Broadway was sooo much better!
Tuesday morning we slept in until about 8ish (we let ourselves wake up whenever we woke up all week and I'm used to getting up at 6 am) before we decided to find the lounge for breakfast. At some point between showering and breakfast Michele had the day planned out for us. We'd start our day by going to the American Museum of Natural History, see a bit of Central park and then we'd find our way to the Library (and I insisted on going to the HBO shop to buy a bottle of Tru Blood). Once we were done with the library we made our way down to Chinatown for dinner. There was a bit of a language barrier at the restaurant but the food was really good (nothing compared to the food I had in China but still quite good). We got ourselves some little cakes and snakes for the week once we were done dinner before heading back to the hotel to crash. Instead of crashing we decided it would be fun to go to the Empire State Building to get some night scenery of the city! All in all by the time we got back to the hotel we were both ready for bed. The first full day in NYC was aaaawesome! I'd finally gotten to see the museum of natural history (something I'd be dreaming of since I was a child) and being able to see the city lights at night was spectacular.
Wednesday was insane. By this point my legs were in agony (from the running around and intense staircase workout from Monday night - we must have gone up at least 6 flights of stairs - as well as Tuesdays meanderings) We managed to see three museums in one day. Three of them. *twitch* We slept in until about 7.30-8 again and eventually found our way to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) which isn't really my thing but seeing Michele go all gaga over Monet was pretty interesting. There was also a neat photograph in there and some pretty cool architectural designs. Following MoMA we found our way to the FAO Schwartz toy store and saw the giant piano. We didn't go on it because of the kids. After the toy store we decided to have our lunch in Central Park. We grabbed a hotdog from a random stand and ate lunch before wandering towards the Guggenheim. We originally wanted to take the elevator to the top and work our way down but sadly that didn't work so we got ourselves a little dizzy walking to the top while looking at the paintings and then made our way down once again. We spent about an hour in there which was pretty surprising. Afterwards we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) and all I can say to that is wow. We didn't have enough time to see all of the exhibits so we were a little selective and saw the best. We steered cleared of modern art since we'd just been to two museums with plenty of it. We left as the museum was closing and that museum was by far my favorite museum in NYC. It even rivals the Shanghai museum of science and technology that I visited with Cash and that one was pretty damn awesome. After visiting three museums. OMG, three of them (we're still in shock) we went to Little Italy for dinner. We found a quaint little restaurant and ended up having a semi romantic candle lit dinner. It was lovely and so very good. We pretty much crashed after dinner.
Thursday, our last full day in NYC. I woke up at 4 but stayed in bed until about 7.30. We eventually found our way to the tour boats to go see the Statue of liberty and Ellis island (including the Immigration museum, yes, another museum, for those counting that's 5). Luckily I thought of brining gloves, a scarf, and a warm shirt since it was freezing there! We met a lovely lady from the Netherlands on the ferry and walked with her for a bit. I was a creep and snapped a quick image of her, I can't even remember her name but she was nice. We ate lunch at the gift shop place before hoping onto the next ferry to Ellis island. We spent a while there going through the museum and enjoying ourselves. I'll admit that our legs and feet were killing us, so we took quite a few rests throughout this museum. Once we got back to Manhattan we decided to ventured the streets in search of Wall Street. On the way there we ran into some dude selling "Obama Condems" and they were only 10$ a condom! I snapped an image of the guy from afar but I didn't buy one. We were sidetracked when we came across the Smithsonian Museum of Native Americans and yup, we went in. Totalling us at six museums in three days. Sadly, the main exhibit was closed and under renovation but what was open was amazing. It was a gorgeous little museum and I'm glad we stopped by it. By this point my feet and legs had been aching so much that they weren't really in pain any more so that was a huge bonus for me. It probably wasn't a good thing but I was glad for the pain to be gone. We did eventually find Wall Street and we also found our way to Ground Zero. We weren't planning on visiting it but it was so close to where we were and it was on the way to the subway so we thought why not? It's a construction site. I snapped a few quick photos, including a closeup of the graffity "Iron Workers Locak 40" written on the side of one of the beams which I thought was rather interesting. After stopping for some Starbucks to warm us up we went to the subway to go back to the hotel to figure out what we wanted to do for dinner. We also wanted to empty our bags of the souvenirs we purchased. We settled on going to the Hard Rock Cafe (which I for some reason always want to say rock hard cafe). Michele finally got her burger and we both ordered drinks in "keeper" glasses which gave us a lovely glass of the Hard Rock cafe that said New York on it. Our waiter was absolutely awesome so we tipped him nicely and on our way out we weren't sure about the whole glass thing so we tried to walk out with the dirty ones. Luckily the waiter stopped us before we could do anything too embarrassing. After dinner we worked on starting to pack up some of our things before we went to bed, completely exhausted.
Friday came all too quickly. We finished packing, ate breakfast, and walked to the bus stop. It was only 9 blocks away so it wasn't too bad. We were able to relatively easily find our bus and before we knew it we were back in Albany with Katie. After getting all of our bags to her place we went out for lunch and for a birthday margarita. It was huge. I'd only even seen a drink that size on TV so it had me baffled for a bit. I remember the margarita and wings. Lots and lots of wings. After lunch Katie gave us a lovely driving tour of Albany, showing us the main sites before we went out for Michele's awesome sushi dinner. We met up with another one of Michele's cousins at the Japanese restaurant. It was a lovely dinner, rather filling (I ordered chicken and cashews since I wasn't sure my stomach could handle sushi). Michele and Katie both had 2.5 large bottles of sake, each. Once we got back we had some of the cake that Katie prepared for us before we went to bed.
We woke up nice and early on Saturday, Katie made us a wonderful greasy breakfast before we packed up Michele's car to drive back to Canada. It was raining again in Albany and was even worse when we finally did get back home. We decided to follow the GPS which took us through Montreal and it ended up taking us the same amount of time as the little country roads.
All in all, my week was absolutely awesome and even though things are starting to blur it's definitely something I'll never forget. As per usual I've begun to plan out my next trip. Vancouver, BC.
Since I'm a little lazy you can check out photos from my New York trip on my facebook page. The gallery should be available for all to view. I do plan on uploading these same images to photobucket in the future with a link to it. NYC Images